Friday, June 9, 2017

Flame out/flame on: Fortnights 8 & 9 of The Burns

Self-portrait, Assisi
Fortnight 8 (8-21 May)
Total words: 9,781 (1st week: 5,897; 2nd: 3,884)
Breakdown: Novel 1,903, Blog/essays 5,898, Poetry 1,980

Fortnight 9 (22 May - 4 June)
Total words: 0

So, I left for Italy on 20 May and got back to NZ on 4 June, which explains the goose egg for Fortnight 9. I actually wrote about 5,000 words of notes while on my research roadtrip and took over a 1000 photos/videos, so it was quite productive, but it was a slip back into Pre-Production rather than time spent in Principle Photography, as they say in the movie business, so I'm happy to call it 'zero' and reap the rewards of massive and intimidating wordcounts in subsequent fortnights (not to jinx anything).

As for Fortnight 8, there was the Dunedin Writers Festival, which involved some prep and some poetry on my part, which I wrote about in part here. And prep for my Italy trip, which meant there wasn't a lot of time (or headspace) to push the novel forward.


What to say about Italy?

I don't want to say much, because I want to funnel most of it into my novel (or its first draft). But I will say I found the question of sharing my journey on social media was a fraught one.

There's the temptation to share pictures and videos to make people eat their smartphones in jealousy. This is doubly so when you see others doing it while you're travelling.

But my trip is so much more interesting that yours! 
But my meal was so much more epic! 
My driving in Italy story so much funnier (and better told)!

But, of course, the reality of travel, especially solo travel for a specific, work-related purpose, isn't all jealousy inducing. There's all those meals alone (and the orders you regret: walnuts? walnuts!). The relentless mental load of getting all the places you need to get under your own steam. And the fact Italy can be a frustrating, backwards, unfriendly fucking place at the best of times. But it's easier to share the sunset shots, the flashmob in the Pantheon that gave you chills, the humblebrags about how many km's you've carved out and leave the static schmucks back home to slowly pickle in their own bile.

And with that, some pics...

Papa Francesco addressing us at the Vatican
The Pantheon 

Flying into Brindisi

Santa Maria della Grottella, Copertino

Driving to Martina Franca



Driving the A14

My Nissan Micra for the week, approaching Assisi



San Marino

San Giuseppe da Copertino taking flight


The tomb of San Giuseppe, Osimo

My haul (Fossombrone and Osimo)

Lido di Ostia

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